Help much appreciated for weedy bank

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Adrian and Clare, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. Adrian and Clare

    Adrian and Clare Apprentice Gardener

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    Thanks in advance for any tips here.
    We inherited about 100 ft of roadside banking with our property. It was utterly overgrown with weeds, ivy, sycamore and another type of tree that seems to send roots all over the bank and sprout new saplings.
    After three years of relentless maintenance I cut down the sycamores and the other weed tree's. On one bank I have planted a crab apple tree and some bushes. The trunks keep sprouting these new shoots so I have to keep cutting it back but at least on top we seem to be getting somewhere.
    The other bank has between 4 and 8 inches of old and new ivy on it, between which grows a bewildering array of weeds!
    We want a solution that looks nice and is lower maintenance than it was.
    We were thinking of planting some ground covering shrubs on top of both banks in the hope that they will grow down.
    The banks are about 5 feet high and steep, though there is a flat area at the top of each that is about three feet wide.
    Both banks are south facing.
    The soil is good with a lot of peat (rotten vegetation) at the top.
    Are there good hardy, low growing shrubs that would be suitable?
    Are there any other solutions that gardeners have found?
    Thank you for any thoughts and advice.
    Adrian
     
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    • Sheal

      Sheal Total Gardener

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      Welcome to GC Adrian and Clare. This sounds like a complicated one. I understand what you are trying to do, but it would be easier for us if you could post some pictures, so that we know exactly what we are dealing with. :)
       
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      • ARMANDII

        ARMANDII Low Flying Administrator Staff Member

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        Yes, it does sound like a complicated and never ending task, although by the sounds of it you've done a lot of hard work already. Photo's, if possible, would be a great help to give the gang here a sense of your task and your site.
         
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        • shiney

          shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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          Awaiting photos :thumbsup: but in the meantime,
          have you thought of approaching the government for help? They seem happy to throw a lot of money at problem banks! :heehee: :loll:
           
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          • gardenman

            gardenman Apprentice Gardener

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            To get a true handle on the bank, there really is only one option - remove all of the ivy and weeds. If planting shrubs without sorting this first, the shrubs will be swamped and quickly disappear into the background.
            SBK Brushwood Killer is the best bet here. It is a herbicide which will kill almost all woody weeds. A second application may be required for stubborn weeds such as ivy.
            It is best to apply this now while they are still actively growing as it will not be absorbed properly when they go dormant.
            A bit of work now and in the autumn should kill off everything and leave it clean for tilling and planting next spring.
            Once this is done there are literally hundreds of options for planting. How steep is the bank? Do you want an evergreen carpet or swathes of summer flowers??
             
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